10 Steps to An Effective Training Session
Making sure your training rocks.
You’ve done all the planning and the preparation. Your learning objectives are clear and your training session is fully booked! Success! But, when training day arrives it’s crunch time. Sink or swim. All of that hard work hinges on you delivering a killer training session.
Whether you lead training virtually or physically, here are 10 steps to smashing your training session.
1.Give a timeline
Let’s be real. Students get fussy. Attention spans are short and without a thorough briefing on when lunch breaks will take place and how the session will be structured, you’ll quickly find yourself losing your audience.
At the beginning of your session, take a moment to introduce yourself and clear up general housekeeping information.
When students know exactly what is coming next, they’ll be able to focus more effectively on what they are learning.
2. Introduce your session
Once housekeeping is out of the way, tell your learners exactly what you are going to be covering. You should have already prepared key learning aims and objectives, although these may be split up into smaller, more bite size chunks as you go.
It’s important to remember that adult learners are self-directed and self-motivated. They will engage when they see what is in it for them, so make sure every learning objective demonstrates a real world application your attendees can connect with.
3. Summarise and repeat
It may seem counter-productive, but regularly summarise what you have said. It doesn’t have to mean repeating yourself verbatim, but saying the same thing in a slightly different way may hit the spot more effectively for another learner.
4. Provide thorough explanations
If you’re including multimedia resources into your session – good for you! But also, before you hit ‘play’ give your trainees a rundown on what they’re going to see and why you’re showing it to them. It might seem like you’re ruining the surprise, but you’re actually taking a moment to guide the, so they’re not going into the multimedia segment blind. Once they’re prepped and understand what they are looking for, they’ll be ready to absorb what you show them.
5. Get hands on
Give your learners as many opportunities as possible to get hands on with what they are learning. Demonstrations are effective and allowing your learners to conduct their own experiments and partake in a little trial and error is even more productive.
By seeing what they are learning in action learners are much more receptive to assimilating the information and being able to apply it to ‘real world’ scenarios.
6.Regularly Assess Knowledge
Assessing the knowledge of your students doesn’t have to mean a pop quiz! Firing off verbal questions is an effective way of knowing if your students are on the right lines.
Also, when students know they might face a quiz, test, or competition, they are much more likely to pay attention to the information you’re feeding them.
7. Encourage active participation
Your learners will absorb information and apply learning when they understand it from their perspective.
Reach out regularly to your attendees and ask them to contribute their own experiences or share their opinions and ideas. Everyone, including you, stands to benefit from hearing information relayed from a different viewpoint, in a different voice. So, don’t shy away from reaching out to your class.
8. Repeat Questions
This is particularly crucial in virtual learning environments but applies equally to physical ones too. When a question is asked by a trainee be sure to repeat it before giving your answer.
It’s entirely possible that your audience has not heard the question, or perhaps didn’t quite understand the way it was phrased. By repeating the question you prepare your whole audience for the answer and ensure they can make sense of it.
9. Get your timings right
Starting and finishing your classes on time is crucial for keeping the attention of your class. Late arrivals should cause as little disruption as possible, and while it may be tempting to let class discussion run off on a tangent, it’s always advisable to gently steer the discussion back to the original point of the lesson.
Not only will this ensure you hit all of the learning objectives in the allocated time, it also allows for your students to feel secure that the lesson will finish on time and they will leave with all the information on hand.
10. Don’t Panic!
Last, but not least, don’t panic.
Each session is an opportunity for you to reflect on the structure and delivery of your training.
After each one, take some time to think about what went well and what could be improved. Celebrate your wins, and take into account any changes you need to make for the future, and you will find yourself feeling increasingly positive every time you prepare to deliver a lesson.